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San Francisco Symphony’s Live Hashtag Feed

The world-famous orchestra uses a live hashtag feed to create an interactive experience

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San Francisco Symphony live hashtag feed

Using a live hashtag feed on the website, the San Francisco Symphony is connecting with its audience and creating unique musical experiences. Embracing social media allows the orchestra to reach new audiences and bring music to millions of people around the world. And this isn’t even the first time the SF Symphony has leveraged hashtags.

Interacting with the audience through social media

The San Francisco Symphony’s digital campaign CURRENTS is a four-part video and podcast series about the changing perspectives for symphony orchestras today. It talks about the symphony orchestra as the centre of its community, where all the musical currents of the city come together, be it Chinese music or Hip Hop.

CURRENTS invites the audience to get involved as well. With each of the four episodes comes a creative challenge, asking viewers to post their contributions on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #SFSCurrents. With the episode about jazz, for example, where improvisation is key, viewers were challenged to improvise a culinary masterpiece and post about it using the hashtag.

Source: Facebook

Making UGC visible on a live hashtag feed

To increase its social media reach and connect with more people, the San Francisco Symphony invited people from all over the world to contribute content alongside the release of the four CURRENTS episodes. The hashtag #SFSCurrents aggregates user-generated content and shows it on a live social media feed which is embedded on the CURRENTS landing page.

Featuring social media posts created by the audience on the website adds an interactive element and provides new content in between the four episodes and even beyond the CURRENTS project.

However, the live hashtag feed is only one element of the campaign. CURRENTS also provides Spotify playlists, additional interviews, videos and podcasts for every episode. The hashtag challenges offer the audience a way to participate and go from passive listener to active participant.

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A live hashtag feed to create a sense of community

CURRENTS encompasses a lot of separate elements, but it’s not the first time the San Francisco Symphony has used a campaign with an embedded live hashtag feed.

When the orchestra’s long-time music director Michael Tilson Thomas retired amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, the various celebrations for his retirement (including a European tour) had to be cancelled. A virtual event was created to provide a send-off fitting for a 25-year tenure.

The virtual event took place over 25 days — a day dedicated to each year of Thomas’ time as music director — on the MTT25 Online Tribute page. The website features an interactive timeline of his tenure with various performances and farewell messages from colleagues and artists.

But the San Francisco Symphony wanted to give patrons the opportunity to say goodbye as well. A social media feed was set up on the landing page as a “Memory Wall”, collecting all social media posts with the hashtags #MTT25 or #MTTXXV. 

Screenshot of the San Francisco Symphony landing page set up for the tribute to Michael Tilson Thomas. The page includes an embedded live hashtag feed as a “tribute wall”.

Fans, friends, and audiences from around the world were encouraged to contribute to the Memory Wall by sharing memories and congratulatory messages. 

A live hashtag feed is a great way to share those special moments and create a sense of community and connection. It also helps promote your campaign and expand your social media reach.

With Walls.io, you can aggregate content from hashtags, profiles and pages and select the posts you want to display. Curate content and display it on a hashtag wall on your website, a microsite or on a real-life screen that you have set up somewhere. You can also choose which social media channels you want to include on your social wall.

Create a hashtag live hashtag feed to create a sense of community.